Electricity in Southern Africa
The countries of southern Africa share much in common. Their peoples share many common ancestors, with individual national identities forged through migrations, invasions, and settlement in the region - across the past two millennia. They share a history of colonisation and exploitation by European settlers from the fifteenth century onwards, creating linguistic, economic, and governmental legacies - that have often persisted after independence. They also share a legacy of under-development, and most have high levels of poverty.
Since 1995 most have shared a regional electricity system, too, the Southern African Power Pool, that allows them to exchange power, and maintain greater electricity system stability than would be possible as individual, isolated nations. This goes some way to making up for the limited access to electricity in even the most highly developed of the countries, such as South Africa. According to the South African Development Bank, the average national level of access to electricity in 2009 was only 30%, leaving more than two thirds of the collective population to rely on traditional energy sources, such as fuelwood for heating and cooking.
In spite of their shared heritage, there are some sharp differences between the countries too. South Africa is a vast region, the most highly developed in sub-Saharan Africa, with a large economy, nuclear power, and the largest power generation capacity on the continent. Swaziland, which is virtually enclosed by South Africa, is tiny, has a small economy, a miniscule electricity sector, and imports most of its power from its giant neighbour. In addition to such economic disparities, resources are spread unevenly as well. South Africa relies mainly on coal for its electricity, many of its northern neighbours use hydropower extensively, while Angola has abundant oil and natural gas, and Mozambique has gas, both in addition to hydropower. However, all have solar energy in abundance, and most have good biomass resources.
This report covers twelve countries in Southern Africa, including ten of the twelve members of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) , as well as the two island nations, Madagascar and Mauritius. A chapter is devoted to each, and provides a detailed profile of the electricity sector in that region, together with an analysis of its outlook and power sector growth potential. Together, the profiles provide a comprehensive source of information about one of the most important and economically attractive regions of Africa.
This report is a regional profile, covering:-
Key Findings of the Report
Key Questions Answered
Date Published / Pages / Format
Feb 2014 / 317 / PDF